Dancing by Roger Elkin
his loose-limbed rhythmic saunter
his head a dismissive arrogance bordering
insubordination, that instance dwindles
insignificance one the music has kicked in:
the plagal cadences, the bitter shrill whistling,
chants, and the tam-tam's battering thwack
him zigzagging angular in some hand-me-down
memory of the battle challenge's aggressive
as spraunged on haunches, with knees
ninety degrees, he's jabbing and stabbing
air, eyes ablaze in outstaring glare, or rolling
in some Zulu juju - a frenzy possessing
lifted foot, shifting it, high, higher, then slapping flat against the
ground, again after again, his lissom body
in dressings of sweat, his black skin toning
gold with more agogic mockery till feigning defeat
a wounded animal in a ground-circling,
sadness - only to leap to a final
attack - foot-slap, stab, jab, stab
our awed, gormless, lost-for-words applause
all the time, his driver stands having a smoke
and fixing new gigs on his mobile phone.
Roger Elkin 2012
the wagons, loading the rifles,
the cabin door against the
wolves who don't obey signs.
dog-like, might want petting,
fear bleeds into hesitation -
the bars and rifles remain.
understand human distance -
tied in a parcel of affection.
never need a rifle with a cat.
Ginna Wilkerson 2012
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Hotel, Chester by Sheila
must have come in
the one white-washed arch:
ripe apricots, valets
ladies' maids, lap dogs
larger creatures -
horses, satyrs of glazed terracotta,
foot-boy still in his nightshirt -
easiest to reprise.
it takes is fog at the sťance hour
you meet them
the station forecourt,
running ghosts with news
London or Birkenhead.
latent heat lingers in the clay
a blue enamelled roundel,
names and dates lettered in white.
Sheila Wild 2012
winners' anthology, 'This is a book about Alice' will be published on
20th February 2013. Authors' copies will be posted to them on or before